Alex Blaze

Oh, the Log Cabin Republicans

Filed By Alex Blaze | May 07, 2007 1:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Marriage Equality, Politics
Tags: Democrats, Log Cabin Republicans, Mitt Romney, Patrick Sammon, pollitics, Republicans

LCR prez Patrick Sammon has a column up at The Advocate about how LGBT people should be giving money to Republicans.

I don't quite understand the whole gay Republican thing (voting Democrat is about as establishment as I can take, thank you very much), and Sammon's column didn't do much to help. I think his goal was to shoot seven quick reasons at people and hope that no one questions them, but for me they gave the impression that he was completely out of touch with reality. His seven reasons can be boiled down to the following three ideas:

  1. The Republican Party is actually in favor of small government and equality. What we're seeing the GOP do now is just a handful of Republicans who have gone astray.
  2. Queer people giving money to Republicans is necessary to achieve equality.
  3. LGBT equality is not a part of a larger movement towards social justice.
On the first point, it seems ridiculous to assert that there are core Republican principles that almost no one in the party subscribes to. I often hear this from more moderate, more libertarian, or more intelligent Republicans (basically any one of them who's not part of the rabid religious right). If you say, "Gosh, I don't like the Republicans' continued support for the Iraq War," and you get a response from them that says: "Real Republicans support non-interventionist foreign policy," even though I can count the federal level Republicans against the war on one hand. If you complain about the expansion of executive power and the invasion of privacy that Bush's War on Terror/the American People has wrought, they'll say that real Republicans support smaller government, and even though Congressional Republicans have aided and abetted Bush's War on the Constitution for years, well, they've just temporarily gone astray. And if you opine on the reckless financial policy of these past four years of total GOP government, you get a tepid "But real Republicans support fiscal responsibility, and, besides, supply-side tax cuts might just work this time." And so on.

In the end, it looks like Republicans stand for nothing, because there may only be five or six elected Republicans federally who support the principles of the "real Republicans". The current state of the Republican Party would make Sammon's statement that "Work still remains to make the GOP more inclusive" seem like the understatement of the year if it weren't so obvious that the Republican Party does not have equality as one of its basic principles. If just a little work remained, then no one at the biggest conservative conference of the year would have cheered Ann Coulter calling John Edwards a faggot. If it were just a few R's that needed convincing, then the FMA wouldn't have been introduced in the House in year after year of GOP control, and then stopped the first year that the Dems took it back. And if Republican principles were on our side, the leader of that party wouldn't be promising to veto a bill to help fight hate-based vandalism, violence, and murder against queer people.

While people like Sammon say that it's one of the founding principles of the Republican Party, it's pretty obvious to the rest of us that that's just a talking point against any policy that would help to create equality that acknowledges the current inequalities in the private sphere. In other words, the GOP vision of equality only applies when a policy might knock the already empowered down a notch to make room for so many other people to have a fair shot, and, in those cases, it supports the empowered group.

When comes to the "real Republican" principles, I'll trust the RNC official platform and the actions of the vast majority of Republicans over a Patrick Sammon column in The Advocate.

The second idea is rather silly. Considering that there is really no way for gay money to compete with the religious right's (they have budgets in the hundreds of millions; our biggest advocacy groups work at around ten million), most of the money that we can give to Republican candidates would just add to their budget, but the control of their campaigns would still rest with the anti-gays. Sure, one can find a few Republicans to support who are in favor of some level of legal equality, can anyone point to a case, at the federal level, where a Republican was better than the Democratic candidate on LGBT issues and then actually fulfilled those promises when elected?

Consider this:

"I'm an American first, then a Republican second, and gay falls in third or fourth," said Keeton, who wore a Ronald Reagan pin on his lapel.

Both said they recently met former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney at a fundraiser and had their picture taken with him. They were offended when Romney told the crowd that he opposed gay marriage and civil unions.

"We're part of the Republican Party, but he just alienated people who had paid $1,500 for a table," Keeton said.

Really? I mean, really, Keeton, you were really surprised that Mitt Romney opposed same-sex marriage and civil unions after his rabid Crusade against marriage equality and civil unions as governor of Massachusetts? Even after he gave speeches, forced the enforcement of an anti-miscegenation law in order to prevent many same-sex marriages, threatened to withhold pay from Congress if they didn't join him in his battle, and just loves him some Ann Coulter? Really?

But I think that is the sort of delusion that I'm talking about here. This man and his partner gave $3000 to Romney only to find out what was already obvious to the rest of us, and now that money has just gone to support anti-gay policy making. And while Sammon stipulated that we give money "strategically" to Republicans, for most LGBT Americans, there are no options in their district for pro-gay Republicans. And even those targeted Republicans still caucus with the majority of anti-gay Republicans to support anti-gay House and Senate leadership.

While the Democrats may take us for granted from time to time, let's also not forget that the hate crimes bill and ENDA were not introduced in the Republican House over the past twelve years, but were introduced in the first several months of the Democratic House.

The third principle just jumped out at me when reading the Sammon column. He kept on talking about LGBT rights as if they existed in a vacuum. But there seems to be a strong correlation between being OK with the gays and being in favor of universal health care, against racism, pro-choice, against the War, and other issues. Not absolute correlation, but pretty darn strong. Did we ever stop to think about why that might be? Might there be a relationship between all these issues? Considering that being pro-choice and pro-gay both generally stem from a respect for and comfort with the body, sex, and autonomy for people who aren't heteromasculine males, there's no surpise there. Considering that being anti-war and pro-gay both generally require an ability to think beyond fiery rhetoric and demagoguery, there's no surprise there. And considering that being in favor of universal health care and being pro-gay both generally require a respect for all human life, a recognition of the reality of inequality, and the ability to put oneself in someone else's shoes, there's no surprise there. Sammon's idea that queer equality is just about passing a few laws, while common, isn't at all realistic. The sort of paradigm shift that would have to come to pass in order for people to accept their queer brothers and sisters as equals is, unfortunately, incompatible with the "gooble-gobble, cut taxes, gooble-gobble, gooble-gobble, kill Iraqis, gooble-gobble, gooble-gobble, control women's bodies" mentality.


For full disclosure, I'm not a registered Democrat, I don't identify as a Democrat, but I generally vote Democrat because I see voting as a tool to participate in governemnt, which itself is a tool to better society. But my politics don't with the views of most Democrats, as evidenced by what I write here on this blog.

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Wilson46201 | May 7, 2007 3:25 PM

Sadly, there were gay Germans wearing infamous pink triangles in concentration camps who thought der Fuhrer was simply fabulous the way he dealt with those usurious Jews and traitorous trade-unionists ...

Gay, Republican, AND Out? | May 7, 2007 3:49 PM

OK, the gay/Nazi reference is over the top. I'm a Democrat, but I love to read Chris Douglas's attempts to sway voters on this and other blogs. He's quite intellegent. Wrong most of the time, but intellegent. It opens my eyes.

Leaps of logic, like the one posted above, have no place in this discussion.

Fact be known, I've read two articles/books about gay Concentration Camp survivors. Neither one ever harboured good thoughts about their captors.
Before or after Camp.

Evil is one thing. This is a legitimate political discussion. I enjoy the give-and-take offered by this and other subjects.

Can we stick to that?

Lynn David | May 7, 2007 4:38 PM

The "real republican" apparently is actually a social libertarian and economic conservative according to the Log Cabin Republicans. Such people are very rare according to the Political Compass.

Politically, I sometimes vote for republicans in local offices and was at one time sucked into voting for a republican president in 1980. Throughout the next four years I learned the error of my ways [even if most of the rest of the American electorate didn't] mostly via the economic channel. My mother wouldn't talk to me after she learned I voted republican.

So I've learned my lesson. It takes a good person to make me vote republican now. The default is definitely democrat.

I think the point that Wilson is trying to make (rather non-subtly!) is that the gay republicans are working to help a party that turns around and hurts them and folks like themselves. And when you ask why, they usually respond with a "I'm trying to bring them around on our issues" and "I agree with them on so many other issues." But, seriously, what other issues can you agree on?

As Alex lays out above, the GOP has become the party of Conservative Christians. If you're anti-war, pro-choice, in favor of a decent wage, want to protect the environment, or LGBT, the party just doesn't want you! Why keep trying to be a member of a group that doesn't like you or want you? That's stupidity in action!

And when you say, "But I agree with them on..." what IS it that you agree on? Attacking another country that hasn't threatened ours? Forcing the average American to subsist on fewer and fewer dollars while the costs of goods and services skyrocket? A larger bureaucratic government with fewer checks and balances? Forcing raped women to carry their attackers children to term? Gutting the environment in the quest for more dollars? Tax cuts for the rich?

I just don't get it. Who wants to agree with them on ANY of their principles?

Rick Mavenhead | May 7, 2007 9:31 PM

Most of us are not so impressed as "Gay, Republican AND out" is with "quite intelligent" gay Republicans who pontificate and try to sway LGBT voters. I for one am tired of such people who love to hear themselves talk and/or love to see their words in print.

Pompous and arrogant Republican writers, gay or straight, who talk down to our community while implying that to be a Democrat means you're not fiscally responsible, or that you are for big-government and baby-killing, or perhaps not patriotic enough have worn out their welcome as far as I'm concerned.

Republicans have wrecked havoc on our country ever since Ronald Reagan was first elected president in 1980. They've brought the scourge of out-of-control big government, fiscal irresponsibility, social dogma, moral ranting and a deeply entrenched culture of corruption to nearly every level of government where they've gained control.

And the now worn out rhetoric about the Democrats taking advantage of us is growing even more tiresome to hear from these pontificators who imply they know more about what's good for us than we do.

In an effort to win some level of Brownie Points with their Republican kin it sometimes seems as though these gay Republicans' efforts to sway the LGBT vote seem to no more endear them to their party than to the Religious Right which controls their party. They constantly feel like outsiders looking in who desperately want to fit in, but they cannot. Why don't they cross over to the Democratic party?

Once again, nice try, but no cigar. As Al Sharpton reminded an audience in response to President Bush's attempts to sway African Americans during the 2004 elections, when it comes to the Black vote: "...we decided to ride this donkey as far as it would take us!".

Zach Adamson | May 7, 2007 10:08 PM

It never ceases to amaze me how many times I hear from gay republicans, "That is only one part of my life" or " That's just a single issue, candidates are much more than a single issue."
I have the compelling urge to jab them in the eye with a dull pencil. While yes it is true on both counts, being gay is just part of our ever complicated lives it is that part which certain people use to seek you out and persecute you. That one part makes a difference. As well as the gay issue is just one issue. Yes its true, but. Its a HUGE issue. No, not the gay thing, but the much larger issue of liberty, justice and all men being equal. To me, if a candidate has an anti gay agenda to me that means they do not understand of those 3 words or the our founding documents and therefore they are categorically unfit to hold office. And that means any candidate republican or democrat or even the guy with the solution to fix the budget. To me, if you dont know why we have a constitution, what prompted the founders to write what they did into our Constitution and Bill of Rights, why we are what we are, where we were, how we got here.. you lack the ability to lead us to where we are going.
Now most of you who know me, know I'm a big D.. But lately, it seems the D's have let us down. but to be let down, you really have to expect different. As a party we generally find much more support even in limited forms. From the Republicans, we expect what they do. Why is that? Well its history. This is not to say that there are not the exceptions. The Scott Kellers, Lance Langsfords and John Elrods are not the last of a dying breed though. Perhaps they are the first of a new breed. From my lips to God ears.. But until that becomes the norm, it would be suicidal to give money to the Rep party as a whole.
Its one thing to give to a candidate who has done the right thing, especially at severe risk to themselves or their political lives, or to a party that does NOT include the suppression and/or voiding of your life and loved ones.
I say that the real thing we should be keeping our eyes on are the Kellers, Langsfords and Elrods. There is where the change is gona happen. Give money to the republican party if you want (and if you can still look your self in the mirror) but your dollars would go much further to changing the republican party if you gave it to people like the aforementioned and those like them. (As well as those Big Ds who have gone above and beyond!)

Mike Kole | May 7, 2007 10:22 PM

Frankly, I've not much understood the willingness to get behind the Dems, for that matter. There's a lot of lip service and the recent begrudging, tearful votes that benefitted (er, prevented harm to) the LGBT community, but I've seen very precious little from Democrats plainly supporting the community.

If it's suicidal to give money to the Republicans (and I think it is), giving money to Democrats is like going on a bender every night. It feels good but allows a slow painful death that comes in the guise of feeling wonderful.

I just saw this in a post on Towleroad and had to share it here...

According to a survey taken this year by Log Cabin Republicans, the Human Rights Campaign and the National Rifle Association are the two organizations which receive the greatest amount of financial support from gay Republicans.

Seriously? The NRA? Isn't that like wanting to give the Oil Is Patriotic PAC a donation?

Jesus Christ...

How can I start my own charity that gay Republicans can give to? 98% of the money will be lost in "administrative costs" (munchies), and the other two percent will go towards an annual get-together. Since they like guns so much, we'll go shooting... after we get back from a good hunt.

ring ring

clue phone calling

there is NOTHING wrong with the leap to Jew/Nazi Gay/Republic comparison.

There is a small group of gay men who have finanicial beliefs that they feel trump gay freedom and progress. They are call "gay" republicans. Really they are just Republican homosexuals freed by the liberal movement they fight against.

Disgusting people one and all - as are most Republicans in 2007.